How to organize your yarn for knitting DIY!

We all know how hard it is to concentrate when knitting projects in intarsia or Jacquard. Holding two or more colors at the same time, making sure the stitches come out perfectly…that’s enough to concentrate on without worrying about the different colors getting tangled together! That’s why we want to give you some ideas in this post to keep your yarn under control; you can use them for Jacquard and intarsia or any other knitting or crochet projects. No more watching your wool roll around the living room.

The first idea we propose to knit better with all of those mini balls of yarn of different colors that you need for jacquard projects, is to put each of them into individual bowls (you can use any container thick enough to support the clip)  and then clip a clip onto the edge, as in the photo. Slip the yarn through the back of the clip to hold your yarn.

Use a different colored bowl for each ball of yarn and they’ll never get tangled again.

Another easy idea is to use a vintage colander that you have around the house. It’s better if it’s metal or of another heavy material, so it doesn’t move around and can hold your yarn.

Pass the yarn through the holes on the side of the colander and start knitting. The holes will keep your yarns separate and at the same time you’ll have them all together in the same container. It looks pretty too!

Of course the easiest way is to use a shoe box to organize your yarn while you knit, there’s always an empty one in every house!

Poke two holes in the shoe box with a pencil, or other sharp pointed object, and then stick your WAK knitting needle through the box. Make sure the needle is longer than the width of the shoe box. Now you have your base to hold the yarns you need.

Remove the needle from one hole, place your skeins in the shoe box, then slip the needle through the center of each skein, and back out the other hole of the box. You should arrange your skeins so that they unwind in the same direction.

For projects that you only need to secure one skein of yarn, a glass jar with a lid can be your best friend. Make a hole in the lid with an awl or drill to pull the yarn through (make sure to sand the edges so the yarn doesn’t snag when you pull it out).

The best part is that you can see which skein is in each jar, and you can carry it with you, or from room to room to make life easier.

You probably have a plastic food container that you don’t use in your kitchen, especially that big one you don’t know why you bought in the first place. It would be perfect for your yarn! Make several holes on the side of the container (make as many holes as colors of yarn you need for your knitting or crochet project), with a piece of hot metal, or an awl, and wait for the plastic to cool. Now you just have to place your skeins of wool inside, and pull the end of each skein through a hole. Put the lid on the container so your wool doesn’t move while you knit.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to deal with those rebellious balls of yarn. You won’t have to unravel lots of knots when you’re in the middle of a row, or run after a ball of yarn that rolls away. Do you have any other ideas? Do you have a foolproof way to organize your yarn when knitting Jacquard or intarsia? Tell us about it

How to Double Knit

The knitting technique we are going to teach you today is one of the coolest you’ve ever seen in the knitting world. It’s double knitting, which creates a piece of knitting with one color on each side, and no “wrong side”. We can create motifs and work using charts, and the resulting fabric is much thicker than when we knit as usual (since it is made up of two sides joined together).

What do you need to know about this technique? Well, it’s kind of hard to understand at first, but one you get started it’s almost automatic. Just keep in mind it’s not a fast knitting technique, and it requires concentration 

In this post we will teach you the basics to learn how to double knit, you’ll cast on with two colors and learn to knit and purl, although there won’t really be a wrong side, but rather another right side in a different color.

  1. While holding the two yarns together as if they were one, make a slip knit and place it on your needle. Cast on your stitches alternating one of each color. It’s best to cast on an even number of stitches.
  2. Now is the time to pay close attention so that the first row comes out perfectly.Odd rows: slip the first 2 stitches as if you were going to knit them to the right-hand needle.

    Knit the next stitch with color A, then purl the next stitch with color B, remember to bring your yarns to the front or back of your work, depending upon whether you are knitting or purling, bring them to the front or back together, although you will only knit or purl with one color. Repeat these two stitches across the row until there are 2 stitches left. Purl these 2 stitches together with both strands of yarn as if they were one.

  1. The next row would be the wrong side if we were knitting using the traditional method, but in double knitting there is no wrong side, both sides are in stockinette but one color should appear on each side.

Even rows: slip the first 2 stitches as if you were going to knit them to the right-hand needle. Knit 1 with color B, then purl the next stitch with color A. Repeat these two stitches across the row until there are 2 stitches left, purl 2 together with both strands of yarn.
Continue working in the same way and you will see how each side of your knitting is a different color in stockinette, that’s what double knitting is!

Always cast off stitches on an odd row. Knit the first 2 stitches together using both strands of yarn. *Knit the next stitch with color A, pass the stitch that is on your right-hand needle over the stitch you just knit, purl the next stitch with color B, and pass the stitch that is on your right-hand needle over the stitch that you just purled*. Repeat from * to * until there are two stitches left, knit 2 together using both strands of yarn.

If you want to work from a chart, you should count each square as if it were two stitches, keep in mind that for each knit stitch we purl one that will appear on the other side of your work. Otherwise, you can read double knitting charts the same as for any other knitting chart.

For this example we used Petite Wool in the colors natural and wine, but you can use your favorite colors, and if you don’t think you’re ready to tackle double knitting, we have tons of different stitches for you to practice with your needles.

 

The 6 best selvedges for finishing your projects

This week we are going to talk about selvedge, or edge stitches. There are several ways to work your edges, so we’re going to take a look at which to use depending on what you’re knitting.

WHAT IS A SELVEDGE?

The term “selvedge” defines the left and right sides of a piece of knitting. An edge can be made up of one or more stitches.

The edge stitches are then the first stitch (or stitches) and the last stitch (or stitches) of each row.

They are usually reserved for seaming, if the piece is seamed, or can be purely for decorative purposes.

WHAT PURPOSE DO SELVEDGE STITCHES SERVE?

The edge stitches allow for well formed and even edges.

When your project is made without needing a seam, as in a scarf for example, the selvedge stitches can be decorative, but above all they help to prevent the edges from curling.

In the case of a more complex project, like a sweater, the edges facilitate the seaming of the different pieces together, and sometimes are even necessary to keep the pattern flowing from one piece to the other. They are also useful when the pattern calls for picking up stitches.

Choosing one technique over another to work selvedge stitches depends upon the type of stitch called for and the piece.

Below we are going to show you the principle techniques for making selvedge stitches. In this example, we practiced on stockinette swatches, but these techniques can be used with any stitch patterns.

1. NO-SELVEDGE EDGE

 

The no-selvedge edge is the most common and makes seaming your knit pieces easier, regardless of what stitch pattern is used in the rest of the row.

Odd rows (right side): knit the first and last stitch of the row.

Even rows (reverse side): purl the first and last stitch of the row.

2. GARTER STITCH EDGE

 

The garter stitch edge creates a little raised row on all of the edges. This technique gives you a firm edge that prevents the edges from curling. The seams will be stiffer than when using the previous technique.

All rows: knit the first and last stitch on every row.

3. CHAIN EDGE

 

The chain edge makes a very pretty selvedge, with a perfect edge for picking up stitches or for backstitching seams. However, it is not ideal for invisible seaming.

Odd rows: Slip the first stitch knitwise and knit the last stitch.

Even rows: Slip the first stitch purlwise and purl the last stitch.

4. CHAIN EDGE ON GARTER STITCH

 

This technique is used with garter stitch to obtain a pretty flat chain along the edges.

For all rows: Slip the first stitch of every row purlwise and knit the last stitch.

5. SLIPPED GARTER EDGE

 

The slipped garter edge is firmer than the no-selvedge edge. It prevents the edges from curling and makes seaming pieces easier.

For all rows: Slip the first stitch knitwise and knit the last stitch.

6. DOUBLE SLIPPED GARTER EDGE

 

The double slipped garter edge creates a very decorative edge, defined and firm.

For all rows:  Slip the first stitch purlwise, knit the second stitch and knit the last 2 stitches of the row.

 

Do you have another method that you prefer to use? Tell us about it in the comments!

How to cast on without having to calculate the length of yarn needed

We come across this problem often when beginning a new project: did I leave enough yarn for the cast on? Will I have to undo the cast on and start again with more yarn? Or will I have the opposite problem, and have too much yarn left over from the cast on and run the risk of not having enough to finish the project? You’ll never have that problem again with today’s tip! You won’t have to calculate how much yarn you need for your cast on, won’t have to measure, it’s easier than that.

 

This cast on method uses both ends of the skein: the outside tail and the tail found inside the skein. If you have two skeins of the same color you can use a strand of each if you prefer.

  1. Make a slip knot with both strands of yarn and place it on your wooden knitting needle.
  2. Using both strands form the skein of yarn, cast on using the long tail cast on method.
  3. Once you have the number of stitches needed for you project, without counting the slip knot, cut one of the strands of yarn, either one. Leave a tail long enough to weave in later.
  4. Turn your work and knit as usual using the other yarn tail. When you get to the slip knot just slide it off the needle and untie the knot . Easy!

Since both ends of yarn come from the same skein it doesn’t matter if you cast on 10 or 100 stitches, you’ll never run out of wool for your cast on. Isn’t that clever?

Our chunky wool is perfect for all types of knitting and crochet projects, we used navy blue here, but you can choose your favorite color and practice to perfection

 

What to do with leftover yarn: embroidered Christmas card and gift box, our friends from we are knitters teach us some bright ideas

Hello knitters! If you’re looking for a different and original way to decorate your gifts that also uses up your leftover WAK cotton, then we´ve got the solution! In today’s post, we’re bringing you a couple of little projects that will brighten up any Christmas preparations. If you’re ready to surprise someone special while sharpening your DIY skills, it’s time to follow our instructions to make a card or box with your leftover knitting scraps.

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Knitting 101 Part 1

Needles

Knitting requires at least two knitting needles to make the knitted fabric. Knitting needles usually are pointed at one end and have a knob at the other. They're available in plastic, bamboo, wood, steel, and aluminum. The needle you choose affects the gauge, or stitches and rows per inch, of your finished knitting.

Gauge Notations

Most knitting projects include a gauge notation. The gauge, or the number of stitches or rows per inch, is determined by the size of the needles and the weight of the yarn. Always work a gauge swatch (below) to see whether your tension equals the gauge specified in the instructions. If you have too many stitches per inch, you are working too tightly: Change to larger needles. If you have too few stitches per inch, you are working too loosely: Change to smaller needles. For practice sessions, choose medium-size needles (size 8 or 9) and a smooth, light-color yarn so you can see your work easily.

To make a gauge swatch: Using the recommended needles and yarn, cast on a few more stitches than the number indicated by the gauge printed on the yard band for 4 inches (10 cm). Work the pattern for at least 4 inches. Loosely bind off or remove the swatch from the needles. Place a ruler over the swatch; count the number of stitches across 1 inch and the number of rows down 1 inch, including fractions of stitches rows. If you have too many stitches and rows, switch to larger needles; if you have too few stitches, use smaller needles.